We are getting close to that point where we need to start watching for the next patch. Here are some important details to keep in mind when trying to guess when the patch will arrive.
Battle.net account merger is required next week. Support will be flooded with people that don't understand why they cannot log in. The smart thing to do would to be wait for that to settle. The patch will not be next week.
2 week notice for when the 310 achievement mounts will go away. This needs to happen this next patch. With the next tier of content, this will be that much easier to get. The ideal time to remove this is during the 3.3 patch. They did say they would tell us 2 weeks before the change and I did not hear them announce that yet.
Activity on PTR. There is a lot of activity on the PTR at the moment. Play testing the encounter like they did for ulduar. They recently had a developer event on the ptr where players can join the new LFG tool and play with a blue. This type of activity indicates major features are done and they are doing bug resolution passes. This is why I think the patch is getting close.
Major holiday is getting close. They will not release the path the week of the holiday. In the event that something needs to get immediately fixed, they do not want the holiday in the way. It will either be a week before the holiday or 1-2 weeks after. If they wait until after, they get a good deal of ptr test data from the people on break. This fleshes out any uncovered bugs and gives them a week for a dev/test cycle.
Historic release dates point to the first week in December. If you look back at patches going live, you will see that the first week in December has been a popular one. Part of that could be the position of Thanksgiving in the week before. Looking at the time between patches would indicate we would not see this patch in November. Does not make it impossible, but its way to close to the releases behind it.
Arena season for the last 3 seasons were around 17-18 weeks. They tend to release a patch just before the end of the season (1-3 weeks). That gives them a bit of time to uncover any balance issues in arenas before the next season starts. This season started Sept 1 and a patch early Dec would put that 13 weeks into the season. 4 weeks before the end of the season is pushing it. They may cut a week off of the season or release the patch mid Dec is this is any kind of indicator.
Before I started looking at all these details, my gut was saying to keep an eye for the patch as early as one week before thanksgiving. Now that I looked into it a bit more, I am favoring early December. Looking at the 8th from everything else I looked at.
How close do you think it is?